By Ryszard Bouvier.
Tripoli, 21 November:
Unood Senussi, one of Abdullah Senussi’s daughters, is facing trial for having entered the country on a . . .[restrict]forged passport. After a first hearing that took place yesterday, 20 November, the court adjourned her case until next month.
She was arrested on 6 October in downtown Tripoli, just a few hours after she had arrived at Tripoli Airport coming from Algeria via an unspecified other country.
She was travelling on a passport issued to her real name, Unoud Abdallah Mohammed, but omitting her family name, Senussi. Having somehow raised the suspicion of airport security, she was followed to the Cleopatra Hotel in Dahra, watched, and finally arrested by military police while trying to escape from the hotel, according to the Libyan Nation newspaper. An unnamed security official told Reuters at the time that she was caught “carrying a large amount of US dollars”.
Regardless of the allegations against her father, Unood Senussi has not committed any crime other than entering the territory illegally, officials reportedly stated. Abdullah Senussi having signalled his loyalty to the Qaddafi by marrying into the family, Unood is the niece of Qaddafi’s widow, Safia, who fled to Algeria.
Under tight security, the 20-year-old Unood Senussi was brought to a Tripoli criminal court in handcuffs, which were then removed. She is pleading not guilty, with her lawyers claiming, that her passport was genuine and that there was merely a mix-up about her names, according to the Reuters correspondent who attended the hearing. “If I wanted to forge my passport, why would I come here?” Unood Senussi reportedly said. The court announced that it would reconvene on 11 December.
The fact the she returned to Libya, seemingly undercover, at a time when her father is facing trial on charges of “crimes against Libyans” probably won’t help Unood’s case. Abdullah Senussi himself was arrested in Mauritania in March 2012 when travelling on a fake Malian passport, and extradited to Libya in September.
Other than the domestic charges, the former Head of Intelligence is wanted also by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, as well as by France, where he was convicted in absentia for his alleged involvement in the 1989 bombing of a French passenger plane over Niger. [/restrict]